DUNDONIANS are exploring the city like never before — thanks to a worldwide gaming craze.
Pokemon Go, a phone game which sees players travelling around to catch the popular cartoon characters, was released this month and has already captured the city’s imagination.
Parks, hotels, restaurants and even libraries have become popular haunts for gamers keen to catch as many Pokemon as they can, along with a host of city landmarks.
The Tele met James Crighton, 21, a student from Whitfield, as he scoured Baxter Park in search of characters despite heavy rain.
He said: “I’ve ended up being caught in this storm but Baxter Park is a great location, it has a Pokemon gym at the pavillion cafe.
“I started playing this game on July 9 but I’ve covered more than 80 kilometres of ground in the search for characters.
“The app itself is a great socialising tool. I’ve met so many new people in person while playing the app. I’ve caught 94 Pokemon characters and there are currently 150 characters, with designers creating more.
“The most bizarre place I’ve caught a character so far is Discovery Point.”
Coldside Library is one venue to have got in on the act, promoting itself as a Pokemon gym, where players can battle others with their characters.
The library is run by Leisure & Culture Dundee and a spokesman said: “We’re delighted to welcome Pokemaniacs, who have been training at Coldside Library Pokemon gym.
“Trainers have been catching and battling since the app released last week.
“Libraries are a safe and welcoming place for everyone to play, although rumours have it that a Dragonite has been spotted nearby.”
Players have also gathered at the city’s Malmaison hotel. General manager Brett Ingle said: “I think Pokemon Go has created a real buzz in the area, which has been great to see — though, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise given Dundee’s gaming heritage.
“We’ve noticed a lot of residents and guests playing it, and Malmaison is a Pokestop, so it’s been fun to talk to people about it, while catching an abundance of Pokemon at the hotel.”
Player Arran Donald, 21, of Barnhill, was searching for Pokemon at Barnhill Rock Garden when he spoke to the Tele. He said: “I ended up nearly walking to Carnoustie while I was playing the game because I was that engrossed — I reckon I’ve walked more than 60 kilometres since I started playing it.”
The Cooper & Mckenzie sales assistant added: “As well as meeting loads of new people, I’ve also appreciated my surroundings a lot more.
“When I was down at the beach, I was able to appreciate the sight of the moon with the backdrop of the River Tay — it was beautiful.”
Folk have also gathered at restaurants like Nandos to play — where the Tele found Dundee United striker Simon Murray was even getting in on the act.
Shift manager Paul Stephen, 25, said: “It has been crazy — at every table you usually see people glued to their phones playing Pokemon.
“I’ve been playing it since its UK release and I actually incorporated the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail and a Pokemon hunt.
“I reckon we have definitely benefitted from some added footfall into the restaurant. A number of the staff have also been gripped by the new cultural phenomenon.”